Monday, June 02, 2014

¡Viva La República!

So, the elephant-killing-justice-is-for-all-except-my-thieving-daughter-and-her-husband-king has abdicated.  About time!  The real pity is that the whole of his brood have not renounced the throne as well.

            Timing is everything.  The noose is tightening around the necks of his greedy progeny as the court case about the wholesale swindling of public money is getting nearer to some sort of resolution.  I know of nobody in Spain who truly believes that the Infanta and her husband will get the harsh justice that they deserve, or that we the people who they have ripped off will get any justice at all.  But whatever the outcome there is a lot of bad, bad publicity on the horizon for this discredited branch (sic.) of the debased family of Bourbon.

            The European elections have shown a diminution in the proportion of the vote that has gone to the recognized, establishment parties on the right and left and it has also led to the astonishing rise of the left wing party Podemos.  As the king becomes more and more doddery and as he is still haunted (as he bloody well should be) by his taking of an extravagantly expensive hunting trip during the height of the financial crisis and shooting anything that moved, including an elephant, the prestige (sic.) of the so-called Royal Family (as established by Franco) has sunk to a new low.

            So, with the rise of a new and popular left wing party which is calling for a referendum on the monarchy, the king has decided to cut and run and hope that the throne will go to his eldest son who has a vastly higher popularity rating than he does.  With the odious PP party in power in Spain, and with an absolute majority in parliament, they will be able to rubber stamp the accession and cite the Constitution to justify it.  PP will have a coronation and the equivalent of bread and circuses for the population with the distraction of the World Cup to keep the minds of the population from the important things in life and accept what PP says should happen.

            Here in Catalonia with the rise of the separatist movement and the desire to break away from Spain there is already an anti-monarchist feeling with which, as a life-long hater of royalty, I heartily concur.  Although, thanks to what my father called my ‘belligerent pacifism’ I cannot actually want the excesses of The French Revolution to be enacted in Spain in the twenty-first century, yet there is also part of me that wants to yell to the passing tumbril, ‘À la lantern!’

            I fear that I will have to content myself with signing a petition asking for a vote to express a preference for a meritocracy or an outmoded, class dominated, archaic, vicious, corrupt system.  I trust that I have remained scrupulously impartial there in the way that I would phrase the question.

            Isn’t there some sort of saying about a dog returning to its own vomit?  It came to mind when, thanks to the persuasively digressive qualities of the Internet I found myself perusing the latest examination drafts from my old board, the WJEC (The Welsh Joint Examination Committee) which has rebranded itself, for England, as Eduqas or possibly eduqas - for that extra degree of trendiness - breaking away from the normal codes of appropriate expression. 

            As I read, with growing depression this Grove-dictated linear exam-heavy verbiage, I was depressed, though not unduly surprised to read in the FAQs for this new qualification, in response to the apposite question, ‘Why is WJEC introducing this new brand?’ that the board’s answer contained not one but three split infinitives!  So much for Assessment Objective A06 and goodbye to the marks for accuracy!  Ah, thank god I am outside all of this nonsense nowadays!

            More importantly than the horror that every new examination draft must inflict on hard working and harder pressed teachers of English, I have to report that the weather in Catalonia was most un-English in its heat and sunshine.  I was therefore able to stretch out and attempt to restore my Vitamin D levels.  Unfortunately the weather forecast is not encouraging and I am praying that Castelldefels will live up to its microclimate expectations from the people who live here.  I am also well aware that the rays can get through haze and clouds!

            The re-signing of the contract for the renting of the house was disturbingly straightforward.  The only negative aspect was the continued refusal of the owners of the place to accept their responsibilities and ‘do something’ about the faulty water heating system.  When I maintained that this would clearly be the landlord’s responsibility in the UK, I was immediately informed that it was the same in Spain, but in the case of our property because it was owned by some sort of private firm or society they could, apparently, ignore law and fairness and sit back and just take the money while doing bugger all for it.

            This might be something which it is worth looking in to, but that would require a resort to what is laughingly called ‘the law’ in this country and, as justice is well and truly dead here, I think that would be a futile effort.

            My art books are going to arrive on Friday.  That is something to keep me calm.  Apart from the gnawing expectation – because, I want it all and I want it now.

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